If youd guess that Yale or Harvard ruled the college gridiron in 1911 and 1912, youd be wrong. The most popular team belonged to an institution called the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Its story begins with Lt. Col. Richard Henry Pratt, a fierce abolitionist who believed that Native Americans deserved a place in American society. In 1879, Pratt made a treacherous journey to the Dakota Territory to recruit Carlisles first students.
Years later, three students approached Pratt with the notion of forming a football team. Pratt liked the idea, and in less than twenty years the Carlisle football team was defeating their Ivy League opponents and in the process changing the way the game was played.
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Sally Jenkins is a columnist for the Washington Post and the
author of eight books (three of which were New York Times
bestsellers), including Its Not About the Bike with
Lance Armstrong and The State of
Jones with John Staufer. In 2002 she won the Associated Presss
Columnist of the Year Award. Her work has been featured in GQ
and Sports Illustrated, and she has acted as a
correspondent on CNBC as well as on NPR's All Things Considered.
She lives in New York City.
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